Explore this region's history through its rich historical treasures. Each site has its own unique stories to share. Delve into mountain history, the lives of regional literary figures, agricultural traditions, traditional music, and art and craft through the exhibits of the region's many museums and historic sites. Beyond the exhibits and working demonstrations, there are ongoing educational programs for visitors and many for children.
Buncombe County's primary museum of general local history, the Swannanoa Valley Museum is located in the historic Black Mountain Firehouse, designed and built in 1921 by Richard Sharp Smith, supervising architect of the Biltmore Estate. The collection interprets the story of the settlement and development of Western North Carolina, as accessed by people arriving through the Swannanoa Valley. Open April—October, Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; S Closed on Sundays & Mondays. Admission $2. Members and students free.
The Presbyterian Heritage Center in Montreat features interesting exhibits of rare photos, films and artifacts, as well as touch-screen multi-media kiosks, video screens, displays of folk art, paintings, and unique photos. Exhibits include rare first edition 1611 King James Bibles in the History of the English Language Bible Exhibit (until May 1st, 2011), China Missions, Appalachian Folk Carvings, Religion & Chaplains in the Civil War (opens May 2011), and more! Winter hours: Thursday-Friday, 10:00am-4:00pm; Saturday, 1:00pm-4:00pm; and Sunday, 1:30pm-4:00pm.